O.C. Walker reviewing plans at the Tulsa Development Authority

O.C. Walker , Class of 2002
Executive Director of the Tulsa Development Authority

O.C. Walker graduated from Langston University in 1998, with a degree in Construction Management. At the start, O.C. had intended to continue the family business of “Walker’s Masonry,” following in his father’s footsteps. However, his father told him to set his sights on becoming a city planner. O.C. soon entered the Urban Design Studio to obtain a Master of Science in Architectural Urban Studies, graduating in 2002. While at the Urban Design Studio, O.C.’s professional project focused on improving an underserved area of Tulsa, fixing 26 houses and helping citizens obtain home loans. He is gratified that his proposal is being implemented and well underway. He says that the studio’s focus on the importance of building partnerships and fostering the relationships that get projects done in the real world has inspired him to become part of a greater community of urban designers in Tulsa.

O.C. spent eight years with the City of Tulsa in a range of areas starting in Public Works as a Waterline Inspector in Field Engineering. O.C. quickly moved on to Urban Development as a planner with a goal to improve community relations by designing and facilitating neighborhood meetings with the city, police, architects, and neighborhood groups. O.C. was also a Senior Planner with the City of Broken Arrow for three years, serving the Planning Commission and Board of Adjustment and the Downtown Broken Arrow Advisory Committee. Throughout his many roles O.C. utilizes the mapping and analysis skills that he learned from the studio. He says that the practical skills involved in the beginning to end of projects are vital in the real world.

Since 2009, O.C. has served as the Executive Director of Tulsa Development Authority, where he manages the day-to-day operations for the Authority, including negotiation of contracts for redevelopment agreements. O.C.’s overall efforts are designing and implementing plans to remove blight and encourage revitalization and economic development for the City of Tulsa. In fact, our interview was conducted in one of the industrial parks that O.C. and the Tulsa Development Authority planned and is currently operate. O.C. is also deeply involved in the community, working intensively with the Metropolitan Baptist Church, where he chaired the design committee, helping to provide design concepts, all the way through construction where he helped painting and ordering the carpet. O.C., his wife, Andrea and their two sons, O.C. III and Aiden, proudly attend their new church. O.C. also worked on a similar community focused project at the Hutcherson branch YMCA where he is still a current board member

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